1 Thessalonians 2; 1 Thessalonians 3; Isaiah 17; Isaiah 18; Isaiah 19; Psalms 114

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1 Thessalonians 2

1 For you yourselves know, brothers, that our visit with you was not without result.
2 On the contrary, after we had previously suffered and been outrageously treated in Philippi, as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition.
3 For our exhortation didn't come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive.
4 Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but rather God, who examines our hearts.
5 For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives-God is our witness-
6 and we didn't seek glory from people, either from you or from others.
7 Although we could have been a burden as Christ's apostles, instead we were gentle among you, as a nursing mother nurtures her own children.
8 We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.
9 For you remember our labor and hardship, brothers. Working night and day so that we would not burden any of you, we preached God's gospel to you.
10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly we conducted ourselves with you believers.
11 As you know, like a father with his own children,
12 we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
13 Also, this is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which also works effectively in you believers.
14 For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, since you have also suffered the same things from people of your own country, just as they did from the Jews.
15 They killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and persecuted us; they displease God, and are hostile to everyone,
16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. As a result, they are always adding to the number of their sins, and wrath has overtaken them completely.
17 But as for us, brothers, after we were forced to leave you for a short time (in person, not in heart), we greatly desired and made every effort to return and see you face to face.
18 So we wanted to come to you-even I, Paul, time and again-but Satan hindered us.
19 For who is our hope, or joy, or crown of boasting in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you?
20 For you are our glory and joy!

1 Thessalonians 3

1 Therefore, when we could no longer stand it, we thought it was better to be left alone in Athens.
2 And we sent Timothy, our brother and God's co-worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you concerning your faith,
3 so that no one will be shaken by these persecutions. For you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.
4 In fact, when we were with you, we told you previously that we were going to suffer persecution, and as you know, it happened.
5 For this reason, when I could no longer stand it, I also sent to find out about your faith, fearing that the tempter had tempted you and that our labor might be for nothing.
6 But now Timothy has come to us from you and brought us good news about your faith and love, and that you always have good memories of us, wanting to see us, as we also want to see you.
7 Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution, we were encouraged about you through your faith.
8 For now we live, if you stand firm in the Lord.
9 How can we thank God for you in return for all the joy we experience because of you before our God,
10 as we pray earnestly night and day to see you face to face and to complete what is lacking in your faith?
11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you.
12 And may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, just as we also do for you.
13 May He make your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. Amen.

Isaiah 17

1 An oracle against Damascus: Look, Damascus is no longer a city. It has become a ruined heap.
2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be [places] for flocks. They will lie down without fear.
3 The fortress disappears from Ephraim, and a kingdom from Damascus. The remnant of Aram will be like the splendor of the Israelites. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.
4 On that day the splendor of Jacob will fade, and his healthy body will become emaciated.
5 It will be as if a reaper had gathered standing grain- his arm harvesting the heads of grain- and as if one had gleaned heads of grain in the valley of Rephaim.
6 Only gleanings will be left in Israel, as if an olive tree had been beaten- two or three berries at the very top of the tree, four or five on its fruitful branches. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the declaration of the Lord, the God of Israel.
7 On that day people will look to their Maker and will turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
8 They will not look to the altars they made with their hands or to the Asherahs and incense altars they made with their fingers.
9 On that day their strong cities will be like the abandoned woods and mountaintops that were abandoned because of the Israelites; there will be desolation.
10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and you have failed to remember the rock of your strength; therefore you will plant beautiful plants and set out cuttings from exotic vines.
11 On the day that you plant, you will help them to grow, and in the morning you will help your seed to sprout, [but] the harvest will vanish on the day of disease and incurable pain.
12 Ah! The roar of many peoples- they roar like the roaring of the seas. The raging of the nations- they rage like the raging of mighty waters.
13 The nations rage like the raging of many waters. He rebukes them, and they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills and like dead thistles before a gale.
14 In the evening-sudden terror! Before morning-it is gone! This is the fate of those who plunder us and the lot of those who ravage us.

Isaiah 18

1 Ah! The land of buzzing insect wings beyond the rivers of Cush
2 sends envoys by sea, in reed vessels on the waters. Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth-skinned, to a people feared near and far, a powerful nation with a strange language, whose land is divided by rivers.
3 All you inhabitants of the world and you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, look! When a trumpet sounds, listen!
4 For, the Lord said to me: I will quietly look out from My place, like shimmering heat in sunshine, like a rain cloud in harvest heat.
5 For before the harvest, when the blossoming is over and the blossom becomes a ripening grape, He will cut off the shoots with a pruning knife, and tear away and remove the branches.
6 They will all be left for the birds of prey on the hills and for the wild animals of the land. The birds will spend the summer on them, and all the animals, the winter on them.
7 At that time a gift will be brought to the Lord of Hosts from a people tall and smooth-skinned, a people feared near and far, a powerful nation with a strange language, whose land is divided by rivers-to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of Hosts.

Isaiah 19

1 An oracle against Egypt: Look, the Lord rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. Egypt's idols will tremble before Him, and Egypt's heart will melt within it.
2 I will provoke Egypt against Egypt; each will fight against his brother and each against his friend, city against city, kingdom against kingdom.
3 Egypt's spirit will be disturbed within it, and I will frustrate its plans. Then they will seek idols, ghosts, spirits of the dead, and spiritists.
4 I will deliver Egypt into the hands of harsh masters, and a strong king will rule it. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the declaration of the Lord God of Hosts.
5 The waters of the sea will dry up, and the river will be parched and dry.
6 The channels will stink; they will dwindle, and Egypt's canals will be parched. Reed and rush will die.
7 The reeds by the Nile, by the mouth of the river, and all the cultivated areas of the Nile will wither, blow away, and vanish.
8 Then the fishermen will mourn. All those who cast hooks into the Nile will lament, and those who spread nets on the water will shrivel up.
9 Those who work with flax will be dismayed; the combers and weavers will turn pale.
10 [Egypt's] weavers will be dejected; all her wage earners will be demoralized.
11 The princes of Zoan are complete fools; Pharaoh's wisest advisers give stupid advice! How can you say to Pharaoh, "I am one of the wise, a student of eastern kings."
12 Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you and reveal what the Lord of Hosts has planned against Egypt.
13 The princes of Zoan have been fools; the princes of Memphis are deceived. Her tribal chieftains have led Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has mixed within her a spirit of confusion. [The leaders] have made Egypt stagger in all she does, as a drunkard staggers in his vomit.
15 No head or tail, palm or reed, will be able to do anything for Egypt.
16 On that day Egypt will be like women. She will tremble with fear because of the threatening hand of the Lord of Hosts when He raises it against her.
17 The land of Judah will terrify Egypt; whenever Judah is mentioned, Egypt will tremble because of what the Lord of Hosts has planned against it.
18 On that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear loyalty to the Lord of Hosts. One of the cities will be called the City of the Sun.
19 On that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the center of the land of Egypt and a pillar to the Lord near her border.
20 It will be a sign and witness to the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, He will send them a savior and leader, and he will rescue them.
21 The Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and Egypt will know the Lord on that day. They will offer sacrifices and offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and fulfill them.
22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing. Then they will return to the Lord and He will hear their prayers and heal them.
23 On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. Assyria will go to Egypt, Egypt to Assyria, and Egypt will worship with Assyria.
24 On that day Israel will form a triple [alliance] with Egypt and Assyria-a blessing within the land.
25 The Lord of Hosts will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt My people, Assyria My handiwork, and Israel My inheritance."

Psalms 114

1 When Israel came out of Egypt- the house of Jacob from a people who spoke a foreign language-
2 Judah became His sanctuary, Israel, His dominion.
3 The sea looked and fled; the Jordan turned back.
4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills, like lambs.
5 Why was it, sea, that you fled? Jordan, that you turned back?
6 Mountains, that you skipped like rams? Hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.